15 Juillet 2017
July 14, 2017
S.Korea nuclear operator suspends work on reactors
The operator of nuclear power plants in South Korea has decided to suspend work on 2 reactors.
The government earlier announced plans to start the process of deciding whether to continue with their construction.
The decision came on Friday at a meeting of the board of directors at Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company. It operates the Shin Kori nuclear power plant in Ulsan, where the Number 5 and Number 6 reactors are under construction.
The company estimates that the suspension will cost it about 87 million dollars, mainly in compensation for firms involved in the project.
The government says the 2 reactors were nearly 30 percent complete as of May. It estimates that if the project is scrapped, it will cost 2.3 billion dollars.
The government announced last month that the country will hold a national debate on whether the work should continue.
A panel of experts will be set up to discuss the matter for 3 months before a jury selected from members of the public will make a final decision.
President Moon Jae-in pledged last month to conduct a fundamental review of energy policy and move away from nuclear power. But unionized workers of the operating company and local residents say they want the project completed. Critics say it is unrealistic to cancel the project as it would significantly affect the steady supply of electricity and the national economy.